012: Bio Families [with guest Sue Badeau, Speaker | Author | Trainer]
During this episode, Sue Badeau and I discuss: ways to build a positive relationship with birth families, how to work with difficult bio families and how to prepare our kids for reunification.
Susan Badeau (Sue) writes and speaks extensively on topics related to children, particularly those with special needs and is a frequent and passionate keynote speaker and workshop leader at state, regional and national conferences. Sue and her husband, Hector, are the lifetime parents of twenty-two children, two by birth and twenty adopted (three, with terminal illnesses, are now deceased). They have also served as foster parents for more than 50 children in three states, and as a host family for refugee youth from Sudan, Kosovo and Guatemala. Recently, their 35th grandchild and fourth great-grandchild were born. They have won numerous awards for their work, including being recognized by President Clinton with an ?Adoption Excellence? award, and receiving an ?Angels in Adoption? award from Congress ? both of these awards were for their work on behalf of adoption and children in foster care.
The Badeau family children come from many ethnicities and personal backgrounds. Some children were adopted at birth; others were teenagers when they joined the family. Some are from the United States; others are from countries around the world. Some have mental, physical, intellectual, or emotional challenges.
Active in Summit Presbyterian church, Sue and Hector have always found the motivation, strength and guidance for their life and work in their faith, particularly in Matthew 18:5-6, James 1:27, and Luke 18: 6-7. In addition to their own children, Hector and Sue have served as surrogate parents for countless neighborhood and church children. Hector was recently named one of West Mt. Airy (Philadelphia) Neighbor's 50 Good Neighbors because of his charitable work in the community and with the youth of the community.
Active in community efforts on behalf of children and families with special needs at many levels, Sue has particular passion and expertise around a number of topic areas, including the impact of trauma on children?s development, the importance of respite and self-care for caregivers and professionals alike, achieving permanence for older adolescents, the importance of the sibling bond, the lifelong value of birth family connections for foster and adopted children. In addition, she has a strong belief that the multiple systems and the community supports in which children and families become involved ? child welfare, courts, education, mental health, physical health, developmental disabilities, schools, churches, neighborhood organizations, etc ? must learn to better communicate and collaborate to best serve children and families.
Susan Badeau has a degree in Early Child Development and Elementary Education from Smith College. She has worked in child-serving fields as a professional for thirty three years working in adoption, foster care, juvenile justice, children?s mental health and education in both public and private agencies. She has developed curricula on many topics used to prepare professional child welfare staff, adoptive and foster parents, judges, attorneys and youth. Past positions have included serving as Director of the Cross Systems Integration team within the Knowledge Management department of Casey Family Programs, as a Senior Fellow within the Department of Justice, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Children?s Commission (focused on all aspects of children?s health and well-being in the city of Philadelphia) and as the Deputy Director of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care. In addition, she had been a policy consultant for public and private agencies, universities and court systems. Sue serves on national boards of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), National Center for Youth in Custody, All Children, All Families, and Justice for Families. As a speaker and writer she is a member of the Advanced Speakers and Writers Association (AWSA) and the Christian Communicators Conference (CCC).
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